Subscriber Special: Hiding $20 Billion in Federal Payroll 61_hiding_$20billion

February 13, 2018 09:10 AM


"The administrative state was designed to resist reform. Without a constant effort, the 
bureaucracy always wins."











Is President Trump losing his war to 'drain the swamp'?

This week, we gave oversight to the newly released FY2017 federal payroll. We've captured and posted this data online for the past 11 years. 
For the first time, our OpenTheBooks investigation found missing information throughout the federal payroll disclosures. 

Here's a sample of what we discovered from the FY2017 records:

  • 254,839 federal salaries were redacted in the federal civil service payroll (just 3,416 salaries were redacted in FY2016).

  • 68 federal departments redacted salaries. Even small agencies like the National Transportation Services Board and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation redacted millions of dollars in salaries.

  • $20 billion in estimated payroll now lacks transparency.

  • A 7,360 percent increase in opacity hides one out of every five federal salaries.

So, who's the bureaucrat in charge of the federal human resource division - the Office of Personnel Management - the agency redacting the salaries? 

Not a Trump appointee - the president doesn't have an executive nominee in place. So, the buck stops with acting Director Kathleen McGettigan, a 25-year staffer who assumed the position because she was the next in line, not because the White House appointed her. 

Federal bureaucrats hate the disclosure of their own salaries.This is a classic case of the bureaucracy protecting the bureaucracy, underscoring the resistance faced by the new administration.

Read our editorial at Real Clear Politics, $20 Billion Hidden in The Swamp - Feds Redact 255k Salariesclick here.

Then, read our OpenTheBooks Oversight Report - Mapping The Swamp a study of the Administrative State, and learn about the swamp Trump inherited.






Learn More - about our recent OpenTheBooks Investigations:



Adam Andrzejewski (say: Angie-eff-ski)

CEO & Founder,

Thomas W. Smith

Matthew Tyrmand

Deputy Director at Large






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